Launch by Jeff Walker
Sit Down and Read
One Line Summary
Go from zero to internet marketing hero
Do you want to make ridiculous amounts of money while you’re sleeping? How about be your own boss and set your own hours? Contribute your gift to the world?
If so…then pay attention.
Launch by Jeff Walker is all about how to launch an internet based product / business. It’s filled with lethal modern marketing tactics that practically will have people throwing money at you if you properly execute.
So who is Jeff Walker?
As explained in the book, Walker is just a regular guy who figured some things out. His intuitive business sense allowed him to go from a stay at home dad to wealthy businessman. And because he was so good at it, he realized people would pay him to teach them to do the same.
Enter Product Launch Formula (PLF). This is his proprietary system on pulling in huge amounts of cash for your product. And while normally that program costs around 2k to purchase, he gives away a ton of his secrets in this short book.
Why It’s Awesome
I’m going to tell you something weird about me.
I love reading and watching ads.
Not because I enjoy cheesy salesmanship or the feeling of being “screwed over” that you often get from interacting with marketers. No, I love them because as an entrepreneur looking to launch my product soon, I love studying them.
Why did they use this headline? Why is their sales copypage in that format? How are they engaging with their potential buyers?
For the ones that do it well, i.e inspire me to buy, they almost all use some sort of variation of Walker’s PLF found in this book.
Does that mean they’ve all read this book? Probably not. Many of them I’m sure just figured it out on their own. Or they got tipped off by another marketing mentor.
But the bottom line remains the same: this book delivers value.
One thing I admire about Walker is that he is pretty honest about his product. Yes, Launch can help you create a dream life for yourself and that’s why I’m sharing it with you guys. But that’s if…
…you’re willing to create a product and business that brings value to people
…you’re willing to take risks
…you’re willing to put yourself out there
…you’re willing to think creatively and apply general concepts in a nuanced way
-you’re willing to be patient and put in the work
Without all these things, Launch is just a bunch of useless theory for you to speculate over.
Let’s assume you got the intangibles down though. Here are some of the key insights I got from this book that make it amazing.
You Need an Email List
Walker is a big fan of e-mail marketing. I love this point because personally I find people’s claims that e-mail is “dead” to be ridiculous. I check my e-mail every day, often multiple times a day.
Another great point he makes about building an e-mail list over social media marketing is that social media is still volatile. No, I don’t think any of the major players like Facebook or Instagram are going anywhere for a while. They’re safe to invest into and are probably where the future of marketing lies.
But at the same time, Walker is also right that there’s an inherent stability and establishment in e-mail. It just works consistently.
For instance, it wasn’t that long ago that Instagram came out with Instagram Live. How is that going to effect the reign of SnapChat? Maybe it dies out altogether like Vine. Who knows? The point is, if you don’t have to take a risk in this area, don’t. E-mail is great.
Another amazing point Walker makes is that he talks about implementing the subconscious triggers of persecution humans have, sometimes called the cognitive biases. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to market a product or you’re a consumer who wants to protect themselves, you gotta know these. Some of the more famous ones include:
- Authority Bias
- Scarcity Bias
- Social Proof Bias
I’ll go into all of these in later reviews, but for now just realize that playing on these triggers is going to be a key part of your launch.
You might bring up the question of ethics when it comes to using these cognitive biases. And certainly it’s easy to see how using these biases could very quickly be used for harmful purposes.
However rather than automatically moralize and shame people for using these biases, which doesn’t work, my perspective is just to look at the individual intentions. Because at the end of the day, this is a reality of human beings. And anyone who has ever persuaded you to do anything, even if it was good, was more than likely hitting on at least one of these triggers.
Of course, whether or not you actually have good intention is a whole different debate. So each person will just have to decide that for themselves.
Sideways Sales Letter
Rather than using a traditional sales letter, Walker advocates using what he calls a Sideway’s Sale Letter. This is basically an ad that consists of both valuable content for your buyer and your sales pitch.
This ad is typically broken into three parts are run at separate times before your launch. The end result is a sense of anticipation and social proof your potential customers.
You can bet that I will be running a version of the Sideway’s Sales Letter when it comes to my product launch on 1/2/17. So keep an eye out.
This was something that seemed obvious on the surface, but I realized I was not taking seriously enough. And that is the use of partners and affiliates for your launch.
You don’t have to have a million people follow your blog in order to have a successful launch. Just one good affiliate can make a huge difference. And when done right, a JV Launch can brings in crazy amounts of cash.
So those are some of the main focuses in Launch. After that, Walker wraps up by just dropping some general excellent self-development knowledge regarding habits and happiness. It’s not wholly original or groundbreaking but it’s nonetheless solid advice for people into personal development.
Why Does It Suck
The only real complaint I would make about this book is that there is a good amount of fluff. A lot of personal anecdotes and a lot of hype building. Nothing is wrong with those things, and I enjoy books that use them. But it can be a bit much sometimes, and I think Walker goes just a little bit over the edge here.
The Wrap Up
A must read for anyone who is looking to launch a product or business for the first time. Walker clearly knows his material and really cares about bringing value to his customers. There also is a great online resource section with infographs, case studies and other supplemental content. If you really like this book, you can even check out www.productlaunchformula.com in order to really get an in-depth understanding of product launches.